For Canadians, the public hearings into the proposed Northern Gateway project, is an important opportunity for serious stakeholders to discuss the impacts and benefits for our country of a pipeline carrying oil from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.
For the foreign-backed Dogwood Initiative they’re an opportunity to hijack the approval process — or as Dogwood actually calls it, a chance to “Mob the Mic.”
Seriously. That’s the name Dogwood gave its campaign to sign up as many of their activists as possible to deliberately bog down the hearings process. Of the astounding 4,000 people registered to testify before the panel, Dogwood says its campaign succeeded in signing up 1,600! Forty percent of the registered witnesses are apparently being sent to the hearings by one single anti-oil organization. They’re swarming these important hearings. And Dogwood’s proud of it. The folks there are bragging about this.
But then, they had a mission to accomplish. This appears to be what they were paid to do by their foreign backers. The Seattle-based foundation started by software billionaire James Letwin paid Dogwood $25,000 to run a campaign against the “threat” of the Enbridge pipeline to the B.C. coast. Clearly the most efficient way to block this pipeline is to make sure it never gets approved — by swamping the approval process with an army of activists.
Dogwood took $30,000 from a foreign foundation in 2009 “to mobilize urban voters for a federal ban on coastal tankers.” Yet another foreign backer paid Dogwood to “to help grow public opposition to counter the Enbridge pipeline construction…”
But “growing public opposition” to the Northern Gateway isn’t easy in a province where popular support is on the side of the pipeline, according to the recent polling. But Dogwood found a creative way to fulfill the requirements of their foreign funders: Just find hundreds and hundreds of devoted activists to overwhelm the hearings, to march in en masse and drown out the voices of actual, average Canadians.
That’s what Dogwood’s “mob” is actually doing: overpowering the process, commandeering it, crowding out Canadians — and it looks like it was foreign money that made it happen.
They’re even hosting webinars to “make suggestions” about how to “prepare” for the oral hearings. And what will they instruct during these webinars? What kind of “suggestions” will they make? Will they tell people what to say?
Dogwood appears to be using its boss’s muscle to steal Canadians’ opportunity to decide. No wonder they call it a “mob.”